Athletics a place where returns justify huge investment

by | Jul 29, 2015 | Sports

By Greg Ford

Today we’re going to have a discussion on cost-benefit ratio. Too boring?

OK, how about risk-reward? Sound a little more interesting?

Well, use either word duo you want, because they each apply to today’s subject: athletic costs. Specifically, how much money can parents spend for their children to play sports, and what other costs are associated with it.

Also, what are the benefits and rewards of such investments, and when can the investor — the parents in this case — see them?

One “investor” who has seen a lot of cash get doled out is Cherie Naudin of Princeton, the mother of a son and two daughters, each of whom played sports at the interscholastic level, as well as with club or travel teams; it’s the latter where money and time really come into play.

In Naudin’s case, she had one daughter in soccer; another in softball and her son was a baseball player. By the time the family was done paying to participate in non-school leagues, somewhere more than $200,000 was likely spent over the course of a decade or so.

“It takes a lot of time,” Naudin said. “It can be a full-time lifestyle.”

Was it worth it? You bet, Naudin said.

First, not only did her children get the chance to play and perform, they also received more exposure than they would have just playing high school ball. In the case of one daughter, Chele, soccer took her around the nation where she was in front of thousands of coaches and scouts.

The result was a scholarship to the University of Central Arkansas, where she is a junior, and a spot on the Mexican national team. Her sister Chanin also benefitted, as she played softball at the University of Kansas.

Besides earning college scholarships, the Naudin sisters, as well as their brother Nick, learned the value of responsibility, and were able to visit places they might otherwise never had the chance to see, their mother said.

My colleague, sports writer David Jenkins, has spent close to $2,000 so his son Clayton, 7, could play baseball, flag football and now tackle football. Again the benefits were worth the cost.

“It’s actually helped me bond with him, because I like football,” Jenkins said.

He also said Clayton has developed friendships he might not have otherwise while playing those sports.

Benefits also can be found in smaller-profile competitions, such as rodeo. Many years ago, one of my colleagues, Joe Reavis, watched as his son Brady, then about 6 years old, took part in “ranch rodeo.” In that particular sport, competitors took part in “non-bucking” events such as penning steers and goat branding (done with chalk on a stick or sock). Overall, the cost was close to $4,000, including buying a trailer, saddle, bridle and a pony for his son. The latter was an older equine, Reavis noted.

“The best thing for a young rider is an old horse,” he said.

Reavis added, “He enjoyed all of it except the traveling.”

During the one year in rodeo, Brady developed responsibility, Reavis said, and learned skills that would prove beneficial later on.

“He actually learned how to pen cattle,” Reavis said.

That’s a pretty good return on an investment.

Greg Ford is the sports editor for C&S Media, Inc.

0 Comments

Related News

Pirates shut out Patriots in key district victory

Pirates shut out Patriots in key district victory

Relying on the defense and running game, the Wylie Pirates churned out a much-needed district victory. Wylie (3-2, 3-5) stopped Lakeview Centennial (1-4, 4-4) twice in the red zone to win 24-0. Both teams ran the ball early and often in the game, resulting in just...

read more
Three keys to victory: Raiders vs. West Mesquite

Three keys to victory: Raiders vs. West Mesquite

The Raiders have struggled over their last five games.  After starting the year 2-1, Wylie East has started district play with four straight losses, including a 48-10 defeat to Tyler High. The Raiders look to get their first district win Thursday in their final...

read more
Raiders lose to Tyler High

Raiders lose to Tyler High

The Wylie East football team (0-4, 2-6) allowed 456 yards, losing to Tyler High 48-10 Friday, Oct. 15. Play of the Game: Eli Holt throws two passing touchdowns before halftime. Midway through the second quarter, the Lions (3-0, 5-2) held a 14 point lead thanks to...

read more
Three keys to victory: Wylie East vs. Tyler High

Three keys to victory: Wylie East vs. Tyler High

The Raiders have had their shares of struggles at the start of district play, coming off of a heartbreaking loss to McKinney North.  Wylie East travels to Tyler to face the Tyler High School Lions Friday, Oct. 15. Here are three keys to a Raiders victory this...

read more
Wylie loses to Naaman Forest

Wylie loses to Naaman Forest

The Pirates (2-2, 2-5) allowed 28 points in the second half, losing to Naaman Forest 42-21. Play of the Game: Jaden Flores records pick-six against the Pirates Things started strong for Wylie against Naaman Forest (3-1, 3-1). After the first half, the Pirates held...

read more
Abraham qualifies to regional cross country meet

Abraham qualifies to regional cross country meet

Anjelika Abraham qualified for the third straight season, as the Wylie East cross country season competed at the district championship at Myers Park in McKinney Tuesday, Oct. 12. The senior finished 10th overall out of 48 runners in the girls varsity 5K (19:50.60)....

read more
Braves win district opener over Wills Point

Braves win district opener over Wills Point

The Community High School football team entered district competition with high expectations. In their first five games, the Braves (1-0, 4-2) have found offensive production, averaging 31 points per game. Community scored 50 points and finished with 548 total yards...

read more
Raiders lose to McKinney North

Raiders lose to McKinney North

Things were looking good for Wylie East in the first half, with the Raiders leading 21-0. This early lead wouldn’t hold, however, as Wylie East (0-3, 2-4) surrendered 28 unanswered points to lose to McKinney North (2-1, 3-4) by seven points at Wylie Stadium. Play of...

read more